David joined Watsi on December 31st, 2013. 34 other people also joined Watsi on that day! David's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Saw Myo, a 14-year-old boy from Burma, to fund surgery to remove a spinal tumor so he can live without pain and go to school.
David has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.
David has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."
Janeth is a two-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of two children. Her father is a small-scale farmer, while her mother has a few cattle whose milk she sells to buy food and other commodities. They also harvest and sell some of their crops to earn money. They are living in a harsh environment, but they try to manage on a day-to-day basis. Janeth was involved in an accident last year where she sustained severe burns. Her mother had made porridge for breakfast. She took the pot off the fire and placed it at a corner to cool down so that she could feed Janeth. As she went out to clean the plates Janeth took a cup and tried to take porridge by herself from the pot. She dipped her hand in the pot of hot porridge and while pulling her hand out, some of the porridge spilled on her left foot. Her mother ran inside when she heard Janeth crying, but she had already been badly burned. Her mother gave her first aid and rushed her to the nearest clinic where she got treatment that helped with the open wounds. The wounds have healed, but left her with scars that make her left-hand fingers hard to use, and the toe on her left food was disfigured. A relative who saw Janeth advised her mother to seek treatment at our medical partner's care center ALMC (The Plaster House). Janeth was diagnosed with burn scar contracture on her left hand and left foot. Her hand needs a release surgery with skin grafting because her fingers are webbed, and the fifth toe of her left foot needs to be amputated because it causes pain when she tries to wear shoes. Her mother cannot afford the $1,088 cost of treatment and is asking for help. Janeth’s mother says, "I had to convince my husband to let me come and seek treatment for our daughter. I am not at peace every time I think of her.”
Samuel is a hard working man from Kenya who gets jobs at a construction site in Narok town. He lives in his ancestral home with his siblings - his parents passed on several years ago. Six days ago, Samuel was attacked by unknown people on his way home in the evening. He has a swollen face, is unable to chew, and is also unable to use his right hand. He was taken to a nearby health center by well-wishers for emergency care from where he was referred to a government facility, and thence to Kijabe Hospital. Kijabe doctors have recommended two surgeries to heal his fractures. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to get the care he needs. On September 30th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to fix the fractures in his jaw and hand. Samuel's income is inconsistent, and is not enough to pay for the surgery. He does not have medical coverage and has been depending on well-wishers to pay for his medical bill. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samuel shared with us, “I can only take liquid meals. My mouth is painful and swollen. I am also unable to use my right hand. I cannot work to buy food, and I cannot even eat the food I struggle to get because of the injuries.”
Samuel is a nine-year-old student who lives with his parents and three siblings in Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. He is currently in third grade and enjoys studying history and science. Samuel has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four different congenital heart defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to travel to the United States where he will undergo cardiac surgery on September 14th at Akron Children's Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart and remove the blockage from his valve. A portion of the cost of Samuel's treatment is being supported by Akron Children's Hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Samuel and his family overseas. Samuel's mother says, "I have been very worried about my son's health for many years. I am looking forward to being able to stop worrying so much after this surgery!"
Cristian is a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. He lives in a small city in the mountains of central Bolivia with his parents and three siblings. To support their family, his parents operate a small market stall. Some of Cristian's favorite activities include clapping along to music and watching cartoons. Cristian was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Cristian is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 29th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, healing his condition and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Cristian's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Cristian and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Cristian's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our son to become healthy!"
Nedjee is a 17-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three siblings in a neighborhood outside of the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Nedjee has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Nedjee needs for her birth condition is not available within her country. Fortunately, Nedjee will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 25th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Nedjee's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of Nedjee's surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds needed to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover the surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Nedjee and her family overseas. Nedjee's mother shared, "Our family is all praying that this surgery will go well and that our daughter's heart will be stronger afterward."
Rose is a 7-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives with her father and grandmother, and they shared that she loves to smile and play with her family! Rose has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result, Rose has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Rose will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is helping Rose receive treatment at Hospital Bernard Mevs, the only site in Haiti where the treatment she needs is available. On May 27th, Rose will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from her brain to reduce intracranial pressure and improve her quality of life. With this treatment, Rose will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Project Medishare is requesting $897 to cover the cost of her surgery. Rose's father shared that he hopes for a healthy life for Rose in the future.
Dismas is a boda boda taxi driver from Kenya. He is a bright and hardworking young man from a highland region in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Dismas is the third born in a family of four. He studied up to the 7th grade in primary school, but then had to stop attending due to the school fees. Now he lives in a rental house with his wife and their son. His parents live in a place far from him in a semi-arid area, and he moved to look for work and to earn a living. Before his recent accident, Dismas was employed as a motorcycle driver and his limited wages enabled him to sustain his family and give his parents a little support. After a severe road traffic accident about three weeks ago, Dismas was taken to the hospital on a stretcher and is still unable to walk. The bill for his care has been accumulating and he had no funds to pay due to his current state and inability to work. Well-wishers helped him pay the bill and he was discharged home with his fracture stabilized on a splint. One of his brothers reached out to a friend who knew of our medical partner's care center, Kapsowar Hospital, and he was brought in to see if they could help him. An x-ray found that he sustained fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 26th, Dismas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After he heals from this surgery, he will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Dismas says, "It really hurts when I see my family suffering. I am worried about their future if my condition doesn’t change. Kindly help me get well so that they may not be impacted even more.”
Mom is a 42-year-old seller of snacks and drinks. She is married with three young children. Her husband also sells goods at the market in Siem Reap province. She works hard to keep their house clean, cook for the children, and spend time with relatives when she has free time. Ten years ago, Mom had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Mom experiences frequent ear infections causing ear discharge, hearing loss and tinnitus. It is difficult for her to communicate with others. She feels unwell and often cannot work due to frequent headaches. Mom is frustrated because she has spent money on medicine and treatments but nothing has worked. Mom traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 8th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She hopes that - after this surgery - her ear infections will disappear and she will improve her hearing. She said, "I want to care for my children and not always feel bad."
Pai is a 63-year-old woman who lives alone in a refugee camp in the border region of Thailand and Burma. She receives 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month on a cash card from The Border Consortium, to purchase food in the refugee camp. This support is just enough to cover her daily needs, since she sometimes shares meals with her sister. In June 2019, Pai first notice that the vision in both of her eyes was blurry. By late 2021, she could no longer see with her left eye. She then went to the hospital in the refugee camp, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). A medic checked her eyes, gave her some eyedrops, and told her that they would refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further follow up. IRC staff brought Pai to the hospital in January where the doctor completed a vision test and also checked her eyes with specialized equipment. The doctor diagnosed her with cataracts and shared that she would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. Currently, Pai can only see objects near to her with her right eye and even then, she cannot see objects clearly. She can only perceive light with her left eye. When she walks, she has to do so slowly to avoid stubbing her toes on stones and other objects. At night, she now needs someone to assist her to get around at all. She also has difficulty cleaning her house and doing other household chores like washing her clothes or cooking. She shared that when she tries to cook on her own, she will sometimes mixed up the ingredients now. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pai. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pai's natural lens and replace this with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Pai said, “I do not want to depend on my sister as she has to look after her family too. However, now I have to depend on her for many things and I feel sad about this.” Pai is thankful to the donors who can help pay for her treatment cost. She is very happy that there will be a donor for her. She said, “I hope that I can see again, and I really want to see the donors and everyone at BCMF’s organisation who was willing to help me. Thank you so much for your kind support.”
Navin is a sweet 22-month-old boy. His family shared that he is very charming and also has a twin brother. Navin's father works as a phone repair person while the mother is a housewife. Over the December holidays, Navin's mother visited her parents in Arusha and when his grandparents saw how impacted his legs were, they advised Navin's parents to seek treatment for the twins. Navin has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, meaning both of his legs bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Navin has a challenging time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Navin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Navin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Navin’s mother says: “Please help my children they are struggling to walk and their legs keep worsening.”
Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”